At a time of unprecedented censorship in the media and online, it is refreshing to experience the type of candor that we have seen from 90th MW Commander Col. Peter Bonetti and Command Chief MSgt. Tiffany Bettisworth. Since taking command, Col. Bonetti has set a tone of openess and a willingness to listen to those in his command, as well as retirees and people in the Cheyenne community. Chief Bettisworth echos that tone to her enlisted members with her great smile and affability. It is hard to not like this leadership team.
Of course, in the military there is only so much openess leaders can produce. Operational and personal security naturally compete with transparency. But these two have been able to strike a good balance of both, when it comes to making decisions about changes at the Base. And the current leadership team has shown no fear in their efforts at improvement.
That’s not to say that I agree with every decision made by them, closing the golf course for example, but all decisions seem to be made with data, research and input from those in his command. This team has always made informed decisions with their hearts in the right place for those in their charge.
The regular Tuesday evening facebook™ live video streaming deftly handled by the Warren public affairs crew has been a popular and informative addition to the communication efforts. The willingness to take questions messaged in live during the streaming illustrates a confidence and desire to listen and deal with issues head-on. Taking sometimes rancorous anonymous questions and comments goes above and beyond.
The inclination and ability of Bonetti and Bettisworth to use the self effacing sense of humor they both possess, although sometimes too goofy, only enhances their communication skills. At times they have seemed a slap stick comedy team, costumes included, but they pull it off with alacrity. Because they are willing to let their personalities out, the goofiness only augments respect for them.
The straighforwardness of this team extends to their public relations off base as well. They readily make themselves available for chamber of commerce, Military Affairs Committee, AFA and many other community organizations. Always with the same smiling, open faced honesty.
Often times those in leadership positions, both military and civilian, tend to be more guarded and careful in their presentation. After all, openly discussing your decisions and changes you wish to make, leads to accountability. When you put it out there, you create expectations that you will ultimately be held to. These two leaders have welcomed being held to account.
This column has been on my radar for some time. Now, with Chief Bettisworth moving on, it is important to congratulate both her and the wing commander for setting the bar high for accessibility. You will be missed Chief, best of luck as you move on.